Post 508  by Gautam Shah



A building is a complex system that manifests for a set of Users, within an Environment, and built through many different Components. Users pose a set of demands that are situational and circumstantial. The Environment affects the building, and gets affected by its existence. The Components forming the building have a variable mutual dependency, some of which are rare, but required for assuring the safety and security.


User-related demands and environmental affectations bear upon the building’s fabric, where components show unequal performance. Some of these components are mutually dependent, and have a state of permanency, but many are detachable and so replaceable and up-gradable. Replacement of components occurs during regular maintenance schedules with identical or upgraded units. Alterations and Renovations are considered opportunities for rejuvenating and upgrading the building system. There is distinct effort to improvise the system by replacing subsystems with new technologies. Compared to these changes, for buildings going through Conservation, all components and sub-systems are sought to be continued, by small repairs or replacing with re-manufactured identical elements.


Palace of Sargon Khorsabad Reconstructed image

Building as complex system is agglomeration of various components and subsystems, where the detachable entities can be replaced. The changes are carried out to replace not only the worn out components, but to add more productive components. Components and subsystems are replaced to endow a new image to the building. The technological up-gradation of subsystems or components occurs in many ways.

PV_external_shading_device_in_zero_energy_building_of_Singapore1 Custom-made components and subsystems are replaced by standard systems. These, makes future servicing and replacement much easier.


2 Newer systems are preferred for their efficiency in terms of energy use, out-put of waste products, compactness, fitment rationale, noise and vibrations.

3 Newer systems are multipurpose, and replace several sub-systems that existed as layers or closely placed elements.

Image Wikipedia – Flickr by Author flickr user rick

4 New components and subsystems have different fitment parameters, and so require customized installation yet the replacements always remain detachable.

5 When a building is completely overhauled, it offers a chance to integrate several stand-alone sub-systems by spatial rearrangement or rescheduling.

6 New subsystems have built-in provisions for remote switching, monitoring and synchronized operations, these allow for networking through master control.


7 Older sub-systems and components were support structure and location dependent, requiring walls, external facing, services connections, etc. Newer systems have reduced dependence being lighter in weight, compact in size, energy efficiency, requiring no liquid-solid fuels and no waste output.



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